News Brief: MCIII, Core 2020 and Modern Horizons

It’s here. This week we get our look at the first MTG Arena Mythic Championship. All eyes will be on Las Vegas as competitive Magic takes another step on its current path.

Mythic Championship III

This weekend at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada the first Arena Mythic Championship and the third overall will take place. The 28 members of the Magic Pro League who did not win their division will be joined by the 16 players who qualified through the Mythic Qualifier Weekend and the 16 special invitees, whose ranks include Luis Scott-Vargas, Kai Budde, Emma Handy, Wyatt Darby, Raphael Levy, and more, to compete on Day One. The Top 12 will then advance to DayTwo alongside the Magic Pro League Division winners – Rei Sato, Ken Yukihiro, Brian Braun-Duin, and Brad Nelson.

Day One of the tournament will use a modified swiss structure. Players who achieve six wins will automatically move to the second day of competition; four losses will eliminate a player on Day One. Day Two will feature double-elimination, as will the final day (for the Top 4). At the end of the day, the winner will walk away with $100,000.

The coverage team for the Mythic Championship will be anchored by Sean “Day 9” Plott and Maria Bartholdi at the news desk, with Becca Scott taking the role of reported. Marshall Sutcliffe and AliasV will be your play-by-play commentators with Cedric Phillips and Paul Cheon acting as analysts, while Marc Calderaro and Corbin Hosler will provide text and social coverage.

The run up to the Mythic Championship has not been smooth sailing from a public relations perspective. The announcement of the 16 discretionary slots created some blowback about who was and who was not included. Questions remain about the direction of professional Magic, the path to the MPL, and what high-level play looks like for players outside the professional league.

More information on the event, including the full player list and schedule can be found here.

Core 2020

Details about the next Standard-legal release have started to come to light. First, Chandra will be the face of the set and will be represented by three different Planeswalker cards: one at Uncommon, one at Rare, and one at Mythic Rare. Chandra will be the only Planeswalker to get this treatment. Other Planeswalkers in the set will only appear at Mythic Rare.

There are some other shakeups happening within Core 2020. Foil premium cards will appear more frequently (at a rate of 1:45 as opposed to the old 1:67). The Bundle product will feature 20 foil premium Basic Lands. Core 2020 will also feature Friday Prerelease events on July 5. Like Core 2019, there will be five Planeswalker decks for the release. During the Core 2020 season the August 16th FNM will feature Arena codes to be distributed to participants. Core 2020 releases on July 12, 2019. Prerelease events start on July 5. Spoiler season begins in earnest on June 17.

MOCS Event Rescheduled

 On Sunday, June 10, a Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS) preliminary event experienced issues and could not be completed. The event has been rescheduled for July 7, 2019. The format is Modern Horizons Phantom Sealed (meaning cards are not entered into a player’s collection) and will qualify players for the July 13 MOCS Playoff.

Grand Prix Copenhagen and Washington, D.C.

Modern Horizons has found its way to the Grand Prix circuit. The high-powered set has already impacted Modern, but how would it play at the MagicFest Main Events?

First on the docket was the Grand Prix at MagicFest Copenhagen. Over 1,300 players started Day One cracking packs and hoping to get the perfect pool. Four players made it through Saturday undefeated and three of those players: Arne Huschenbeth, Kasper Nielsen, and Etienne Tehrani made it to the Top 8. The fourth undefeated Day One player? MPL member Jean-Emmanuel Depraz.

The Top 8 was loaded with talent. In addition to Huscenbeth, NIelsen, and Tehrani, the elimination rounds also featured Simon Nielsen, Martin Dang, and Christoffer Larsen. None of those players won. That honor went to Kim Homsma with a potent Blue-Green Snow deck. Homsma had a tough road, going through Simon Nielsen, Huschenbeth, and finally Larsen on his way to victory. Homsma’s win is all the more impressive in that this was his first ever Grand Prix Day Two and he did not drop a match on Sunday.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, over 1,100 players descended on the capital of the United States for Grand Prix at MagicFest Washington, D.C.. The Grand Prix was one of the five from this year to feature ChannelFireball video coverage, and viewers were treated to the full gamut of what Modern Horizons has to offer.

The Top 8 of Grand Prix Washington, D.C. featured some familiar names including Ben Weitz and Hall of Famer Shuhei Nakamura. Nakamura went out in the Quarterfinals and Weitz took his exit in the Semifinals. The winner? Joseph Wagner with a green-white Snow deck that was splashing back. It might be summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but Snow dominated this weekend in June.

Looking Forward

Mythic Championship III lingers at the end of the week and the event looks to answer many questions, both about the Standard format and the shape of professional Magic in the Arena era. Taking place at the same time a few states away will be MagicFest Seattle, where the associated Grand Prix will feature Modern Horizons Limited. Grand Prix Seattle will utilize a unique structure, with two Day Ones–Friday and Saturday–that both featured Sealed play. The dual Day Ones will feed a Draft Day Two on Sunday. All this, and Core 2020 spoilers to boot.

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